It's Allen Iverson Day in Philadelphia

It's Allen Iverson Day in Philadelphia


If Allen Iverson was overcome with emotions at his welcome back press conference last week in front of a room full of reporters, it's hard to imagine what the future Hall of Famer will feel tonight when he's given a hero's welcome in front of a packed house of screaming fans at the Wachovia Center.

Whether you like the decision to give Allen Iverson a second chapter in his Sixers' legacy or not, the theater it will create tonight is undeniable. Whether or not the love-fest will last all depends on how A.I. plays on the court. To be honest, however, I'm just excited that he'll be out there at all.

But make no mistakes about it, A.I. isn't going to step in to the Sixers line up and run for forty minutes. He may not even see half of that in the beginning. After one practice with the team yesterday, Iverson admitted to being out of shape and winded. He said he'll play tonight though and Eddie Jordan anticipates he'll start. Even that is a somewhat symbolic move it seems.

Iverson says his game is a bit rusty. He felt like he was in a nice rhythm coming in to Memphis but the layoff has messed with that. "Tomorrow, that whole thing is probably more for the fans than anything
else. It’s going to take a while. It’s frustrating for me because I was
kind of in a rhythm before I left Memphis, then sitting out as much as
I did I got off beat a little, but it won't take but a little while for
me to get it back," A.I. said at practice yesterday.

It seems that most fans, if they haven't welcomed the move, have at least come to terms with the fact that this flat-lining Sixers team needed a shot in the arm to get anyone in this town interested in professional basketball right now.

When I first heard that the Sixers were kicking the tires on A.I. two weeks or so ago, I thought it'd be a great sideshow -- the "bearded lady" or the "beer chugging bear" as Bob Ford put it -- but after watching that press conference and hearing Iverson talk about the fans of this city and his time here, Iverson swayed me. I hope he isn't just a sideshow, I hope he finds a way to put a respectable ending together to a great career. He shouldn't go out complaining about coming off the bench in Detroit or Memphis. The final chapter in A.I.'s career has yet to be written, but it could be much more positive than that fiasco in Memphis. That is, if he wants it to.

Tonight, Allen Iverson will bring back his electricity to the building he made it famous in. The final chapter will be awfully fun to watch -- at least for a while.

>>An AI start "anticipated" [DN]

Allen talking at practice yesterday:

Conspiracy charge added for 3 former Penn State administrators

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Conspiracy charge added for 3 former Penn State administrators

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- A Pennsylvania judge on Thursday allowed prosecutors to add a conspiracy charge against three former Penn State administrators, increasing their possible penalty if convicted of crimes for their handling of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.

Judge John Boccabella granted a request by the attorney general's office to tack on a related conspiracy count to the charges of endangering the welfare of children.

Prosecutors said each felony count carries up to 7 years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

Jury selection is scheduled for March 20 in Harrisburg in the case of former university president Graham Spanier, former vice president Gary Schultz and former athletic director Tim Curley.

The defendants sought permission last week from Boccabella for an appeal that could delay the trial. The judge has not ruled on that request.

They argue Boccabella erred when he declined to dismiss the child-welfare charges, arguing the statute of limitations expired, the defendants did not provide direct care for children and they are charged with actions that occurred before the law was revised.

Earlier this month, the judge dismissed charges of failing to properly report suspected abuse, and last year the Superior Court threw out perjury, obstruction and conspiracy charges.

The three administrators fielded a complaint in 2001 from a graduate assistant who said he saw Sandusky, then retired as an assistant football coach, sexually abusing a boy in a team shower.

They did not report the matter to police or child welfare authorities, but did tell Sandusky he could no longer bring children to the campus and they notified his charity for children, The Second Mile.

Sandusky currently is serving a lengthy state prison term after being convicted in 2012 of 45 counts of sexual abuse of 10 boys.

Last week, a new judge appointed to preside over his appeals under the state's Post-Conviction Relief Act scheduled a March 24 hearing at the courthouse near State College to "present and finalize the evidentiary portion" of the hearing.

Hits King Pete Rose on Phillies' Wall of Fame ballot

Hits King Pete Rose on Phillies' Wall of Fame ballot

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies have released their Wall of Fame ballot for 2017 and Pete Rose is on it for the first time.

Baseball’s all-time hits king joins Steve Bedrosian, Larry Christensen, Jim Fregosi, Gene Garber, Placido Polanco, Ron Reed, Scott Rolen, Manny Trillo and Rick Wise on the ballot.

The Phillies had to receive permission from commissioner Rob Manfred to include Rose on the ballot. Rose was placed on baseball’s permanently ineligible list in 1989 after he admitted to wagering on baseball during his time as manager of the Cincinnati Reds. The ban precludes him from appearing on the ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

Rose is still on the ineligible list, but Manfred has shown some leniency in recent years and Rose has been able to participate in some ceremonies. He was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds' Hall of Fame last summer. 

Rose was one of the stars on the Reds’ Big Red Machine, a club that won back-to-back World Series in 1975 and 1976. He came to the Phillies as a free agent before the 1979 season. He spent five years with the Phils and his leadership was considered key in getting a talented team over the top on its way to winning the 1980 World Series. 

The Phillies’ Wall of Fame ceremony will take place Aug. 12 at Citizens Bank Park. 

Fans have a voice in the voting, which is has begun on the team’s website -- www.Phillies.com. Fans can select their top three choices and the five finalists will serve as the official ballot for a special Wall of Fame selection committee.